In the last week I have races two world cups in Norway, and both have been amazing experiences!
The first of these was a classic city sprint in Drammen on Wednesday. I hadn’t been planning racing, however since I was in Drammen I found it hard to resist, so did so.
The race track was constructed out of snow which had been trucked into the city centre, and went up the main high street. Bars were full around the course, and people were hanging out of the apartment windows overlooking the track to get a better view. So it was an amazing atmosphere to race in. It was probably my best sprint of the season, and due to the crowds it was definitely the most fun. A great way to spend my 24th birthday!
The second of my two Norwegian World Cup races this week was the 30km classic in Holmenkollen, Oslo (I had been planning on doing this one!)
Holmenkollen sits at the top of a hill over looking Oslo, so there were amazing views from the race tracks, although for the first two days we were there you could only see 50m due to the thick fog. I got lost several times!
On Sunday I raced my first ever 30km race, a classic mass start, and I’m not going to lie, it was the hardest ski race I’ve ever done. The race tracks were really tough, the hills seemed to go on forever!
Tens of thousands of people lined the race tracks, including hundreds camped out in the woods, having bbqs and downing beers whilst cheering. It was amazing hearing hundreds of people cheering my name, despite only knowing two people in the crowd – my dad and my friend Lowri, who happened to be in Oslo visiting her boyfriend for the weekend. They definitely gave me an extra bit of energy!
I came 50th, taking a few seconds short of 1h40 to ski the 30km. I was pleased with how I skied, I gave it everything but felt I skied sensibly and tried to be relaxed. I did tire quite a lot by the end, but the crowds took my mind off the pain! I was some way behind the winner Marit Bjoergen, who totally dominated the race, winning by 1min42 over second, but as my dad said to me, she’s 10 years older than me so I’ve got plenty of time!